The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > East Timor - the perils of instant reportage > Comments

East Timor - the perils of instant reportage : Comments

By Michael Leach, published 17/4/2007

Ritual claims of foul play are now part and parcel of the ongoing conflict within East Timorís political elite.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All
Yes, instant reporting has contributed to a clouding of the realities in East Timor. Those largely responsible being the ABC's correspondent in Dili, Anne Barker who, like many Australians from the Prime Minister Howard and Foreign Minister Downer have displayed an anti-Fretilin bias in favour of the doyen of potential foreign investors, Jose Ramos Horta.
indeed, Horta established a very efficient media network whilst officially Foreign Minister, which he worked to perfection during the crisis period, by playing devils advocate and adding to the suspicions that Mari Alkatiri had authorised the arming of civilians to assassinate his opponents, allegations thrown out by eventual court findings.
Horta's close friendship with Xanana Gusmao and eventual decision to resign as foreign Minister whilst encouraging eight opposition members also to resign from Parliament clearly suggests to me collusion to create the climate for Xanana Gusmao to dissolve Parliament and form his own hand picked "Government of National Unity"
Alkatiri's resignation thwarted that plan and elevated Horta to P.M.

I subscribe to a conspiracy theory which takes into account that opposition to the Alkatiri Government was well underway at least 12 months before with orchestrated demonstrations against the Government by the Catholic Church, aided and abetted by the American Embassy who no doubt would have not been pleased with the East Timor Government's agreement with Cuba to supply 200 Doctors and agree to train Timorese as doctors in Havana as well as establishinga medical Faculty in Dili

Not to mention that the Australian Government reviled Alkatiri for his tough position on the Timor Gap negotiations. Note that John Howard never visited East Timor during Alkatiri's Prime Ministership but he fell over himself to go there and embrace Horta within a week of his appointment.
I also have doubts about the role of "Major Reinado" and his cosy relationship with the Aussies when he is wanted to face grave charges of firing on the military and setting off the violence.
He is still at large.
Posted by maracas, Tuesday, 17 April 2007 10:56:18 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
For the record, the allegations against Mari Alkatiri arising from the illegal weapons distribution case were not, as maracas has asserted, thrown out by eventual court findings. The recommendation from the United Nations Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor Leste that Alkatiri be further investigated never resulted in court proceedings against the former Prime Minister. The fact of the matter is that it was a decision by the Prosecutor General to close the prosecutor's file on the investigation into the alleged role of Alkatiri in the illegal weapons distribution case. So, the allegations have never been tested in court let alone thrown out by a court. Let us not compound the errors of instant reportage with the obscurantism of uninformed opinion!

It is also worth noting that it is not only Reinado who is yet to face justice over the disintegration of the rule of law in April/May last year. There are also the recommendations from the UN Commission of Inquiry recommending the prosecution of leaders in the F-FDTL itself for their role in illegal weapons transfers (see page 51 of that report).
Posted by etlis, Tuesday, 17 April 2007 11:56:14 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I don't understand the specific details of current politics in East Timor but I'm not surprised at the two posts above. Any hostile occupation always involves long periods of soul searching and reflection on the past trauma. The French went though such a process after WW2 and South Africa after the apartheid era. East Timor is working through that process now and it will involve much anger and grief and generally be very volatile. The splintering of East timors society under Indonesian ocuupation, will take a ling time and heal. Maybe a truth commission might let those volatile emotions of trauma vent.
Now is a time for Australia to show sensitivity and support, not intefere in the internal politics of this sovereign state.
Posted by Netab, Tuesday, 17 April 2007 12:10:37 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I don't understand the specific details of current politics in East Timor but I'm not surprised at the two posts above. Any hostile occupation always involves long periods of soul searching and reflection beyond the collective trauma. The French went though such a process after WW2 and South Africa after the apartheid era. East Timor is working through that process now and it will involve much anger and grief and generally be very volatile. The splintering of East timors society under Indonesian ocuupation, will take a long time to heal. Maybe a truth commission might let those volatile emotions of trauma, vent.
Now is a time for Australia to show sensitivity and support, not intefere in the internal politics of this sovereign state.
Posted by Netab, Tuesday, 17 April 2007 12:12:33 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Netab is right that reconciliation will take some time.

If Fretilin, however, is no longer the dominant force in democratic politics many of its young men may become alienated and radicalised to the extent they'll take to the hills.

There appears to be an assumption of many inside and outside East Timor that as Fretilin fought for the country it owns the country and that any democratic realities that counter that ownership are foreign conspiracies. I think democracy relies on a frustrating act of balancing conflicting interests and not on a grand social plan spawned in years of conflict.

REINADO's MOBILE

I agree with Maracas that Major Reinado's relationship with Australia looks suspicious. He easily slunk away from gaol with all his men when the largest military force in East Timor (Australian Army) was in town.

More recently, if Reinado is being hotly pursued by Australian forces (as our Aussie government maintains) his mobile calls (to the ABC or whoever) would give away his position. This is a reality of mobile phone network engineering - that is the nearest phone tower(s) can locate a caller through triangulation. Another example of triangulation has been its use to locate mobile phone users in Australia in emergencies. I think there's more to Reinado's comm's story but I'm not going to say it publicly - it might set hares running...;-)

So I suspect hot pursuit of Reinado is not really that hot. Australia appears to want to bring Reinado in peacefully and not fight a guerilla (or urban fringe) war with him. As to whether Australia might see Reinado as a useful military strongman in a future East Timorese (not Banana but Hydrocarbon) Republic stranger things have happened. It worked for Turkey under Ataturk but usually the people suffer.

Pete
http://spyingbadthings.blogspot.com/
Posted by plantagenet, Tuesday, 17 April 2007 2:21:38 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I stand corrected on the eventual fate of allegations against Alkatiri. The Prosecutor did not proceed against Alkatiri as I understand it due to the lack of evidence.
I would reassert though that Alkatiri claimed no knowledge of Rogerio Lobato's actions and was prepared to face trial. The decision not to proceed was the decision of the Prosecutor.

I am more concerned about the campaign that was orchestrated to destabilise the Alkatiri Government that led to the deaths of scores of people and sparked a rampage of arson and terrorism by the anti-Fretilin elements.Who were the faceless men; the shadowy figures supplying the drugs and funds to the rampaging gangs ?

I believe the real target was to destroy Fretilin's majority support and anyone who has observed the interference by the United States in East Timor's struggle for independence given Kissinger and Ford's green light to Suharto's 1975 invasion and Whitlam's tacit approval of an East Timor being part of Indonesia,would have to think seriously about a Bush Administration involvement in the crisis when that regime has not hesitated to interfere militarily with other Governments whose policies they did not endorse. And the Howard Governments disgraceful behaviour in plundering East Timor's oil resources and forcing a prolonged negotiations dangling the carrot of vital finance to a poverty stricken and cash strapped young government striving to grow from the devastation of the Indonesian occupation.
Posted by maracas, Tuesday, 17 April 2007 2:54:49 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy